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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 17
2012
ARI at SF CLE at PIT JAC at TEN OAK at SD
BAL at CIN DAL at WAS KC at DEN PHI at NYG
CAR at NO GB at MIN MIA at NE STL at SEA
  CHI at DET HOU at IND NYJ at BUF TB at ATL

Prediction: HOU 27, IND 17 (Line: HOU by 7)

Players to Watch: Arian Foster, Andre Johnson

This game takes an interesting twist. Now it is that the Texans must win this to ensure a first round bye and homefield advantage throughout - pretty important stuff. And yet the Colts are locked into their #5 seed wild card and have nothing to play for. So it is now the Texans hoping to sponge off a meaningless game for the Colts and not vice-versa.

This is a replay of just two weeks ago when the Texans won 29-17 at home.

Houston Texans
Homefield: Reliant Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 MIA 30-10 10 @CHI 13-6
2 @JAC 27-7 11 JAC 43-37
3 @DEN 31-25 12 @DET 34-31
4 TEN 38-14 13 @TEN 24-10
5 @NYJ 23-17 14 @NE 14-42
6 GB 24-42 15 IND 29-17
7 BAL 43-13 16 MIN 6-23
8 BYE ----- 17 @IND -----
9 BUF 21-9 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass

Pregame Notes: The Texans have really stumbled here at the end with a 1-2 record these last three weeks and their losses were not just overtime lose-by-a-field-goal variety. They were trounced and embarrassed by the Patriots and then beaten shockingly well by the visiting Vikings. At least the one win was against the Colts and everything is on the line this week because no one wants to travel to Denver for the Championship game.

Arian Foster was pulled from the game last week right when fantasy owners needed him the most. He ended with only 29 total yards and had an irregular heartbeat that prompted them to shut him down. He has since been to a cardiologist and gotten the thumbs-up and will play. With a week to rest, this will be a full effort from him and shortened only in the event the Texans got a large and seemingly insurmountable lead. Foster ran for a season high 165 yards on 27 carries in Indy.

Owen Daniels has not practice on Thursday to rest his hamstring but so far is expected to play this week. He only caught four passes for 40 yards in the last meeting.

Matt Schaub threw for 261 yards and one score against the Colts and 151 of those yards - and the touchdown - all went to Andre Johnson on his 11 catches. Johnson has been on a hot streak for the last six weeks and will again need to show up to secure this game. He remains the only wide receiver of any fantasy relevance on this team all year.

Foster should be a lock here for a big game since they will rely on him first and mix in as much passing as needed to win the game. Johnson is a must-start regardless and along with Foster are the only two really attractive starts this week. Had the Texans won just one more game this year, there would be no fantasy players from the Texans.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points HOU 19 1 28 3 5 5
Preventing Fantasy Points IND 14 27 26 6 23 23

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Deshaun Watson, HOU CLE 40100024020 ***
Watson has been a fantasy gift the past few weeks and now faces the Browns' fifth-worst defense against his position. Quarterbacks have gone for only 243.8 yards (15th) but a score every 10.4 completions (4th), with two additional rushing TDs tacked on.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Lamar Miller, HOU CLE 6012100000 ***
Miller will have to defy the statistical odds to enjoy a strong game. The Browns rate as the ninth-hardest opponent in PPR and 10th in non-PPR. This defense has given up the sixth-fewest offensive yards and fourth-fewest rushing gains per game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB D'Onta Foreman, HOU CLE 3001100000 ***
The rookie's workload has been all over the map and without much rhyme or reason. The Browns have been particularly stout against his position, permitting only 66.3 rushing yards and a score every 56.5 carries.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeAndre Hopkins, HOU CLE 0061001000 ***
Hopkins is on another planet with Deshaun Watson at the helm. Gamers have a tougher matchup than the name would suggest, with Cleveland rating as the seventh-hardest opponent for PPR receivers.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Will Fuller V, HOU CLE 005601000 ***
Fuller is playing extremely well and has a so-so matchup this week. Cleveland hasn't given up too much in the way of receptions (26th) or yards (21st) on a weekly basis, yet receivers have scored a TD once every 12.5 snares.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Ka'imi Fairbairn, HOU CLE 1144 ***
In five games, only five field goals have been attempted against the Browns. Conversely, 16 point-afters have sailed on through. This is the fourth-hardest fantasy matchup .

Indianapolis Colts
Homefield: Lucas Oil Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @CHI 21-41 10 @JAC 27-10
2 MIN 23-20 11 @NE 24-59
3 JAC 17-22 12 BUF 20-13
4 BYE ----- 13 @DET 35-33
5 GB 30-27 14 TEN 27-23
6 @NYJ 9-35 15 @HOU 17-29
7 CLE 17-13 16 @KC 20-13
8 @TEN 19-13 17 HOU -----
9 MIA 23-20 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
IND vs HOU Rush Catch Pass
QB Andrew Luck 20 280,2
RB Frank Gore 60 1-10
WR T.Y. Hilton 4-60
PK Adam Vinatieri 1 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: HC Chuck Pagano said he will not rest players in Sunday's game against the Texans and he may believe that. But unless the game remains very close, the players may see the sideline eventually anyway which makes relying on any of them at least a small risk. These Colts are new at heading to the playoffs and could use the time to stay sharp.

Andrew Luck already scored twice in Houston though he completed just 13 of 27 passes for 186 yards and was sacked five times. J. J. Watts needs just two sacks to tie the single-season record and three to break it which seems highly likely in this game. Luck has been sacked 18 times over the last five games and now stands in the way of a record. And he wants to play in a meaningless game.

Vick Ballard ran for a career best 105 yards on 18 carries in Houston and the Colts are no longer shy about feeding him 18+ carries a game. That could be impacted by a big Texans lead or just the reality that Ballard needs to be healthy for next week too and taking a pounding for nothing may not be the wisest plan.

Reggie Wayne specifically made an appeal to not be rested this week and to play the game despite only coming up with 14 yards on three catches in the previous matchup. T.Y. Hilton was the lead receiver that week with 78 yards on three catches and one score.

Relying on any Colt this week is risky. The Texans have a great rushing defense and while they have played much worse against the pass overall in the second half of the year, they are getting all their defenders back from injury and they have to win this game. The Colts have good intentions on starting players but how long they play could become the issue.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points IND 10 29 4 19 17 26
Preventing Fantasy Points HOU 20 1 24 28 7 4

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Jacoby Brissett, IND @TEN 20000022011 ***
Tennessee provides the fourth-best fantasy matchup of the week, making Brissett a reasonable fill-in candidate or streaming play. No team has conceded TD passes at a faster clip, and one of the 19 attempts on the ground went into the end zone.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Frank Gore, IND @TEN 4004300000 ***
Gore doesn't have a quality matchup and is losing touches to rookie Marlon Mack. Tennessee has given up only two RB rushing scores in five games, but the position has notched two aerial TDs in its bedpost. Last year, Gore registered PPR scores of 19.3 and 16.1, respectively, in his two meetings with the Titans.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Marlon Mack, IND @TEN 5001100000 ***
Mack looked quite healthy last week and was explosive. The Titans have given up the eighth-fewest points per touch to RBs this year, however. This is a negative PPR matchup and a neutral one in standard scoring.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR T.Y. Hilton, IND @TEN 0071101000 ***
Jacoby Brissett's big arm has helped Hilton stay on pace, but it has been a bumpy ride from week to week. Tennessee provides fantasy's third best matchup in reception-rewarding scoring and fourth-best in standard. Hilton had some fun at the Titans' expense in 2016, going for 7-133-1 in Week 7 at Tennessee and 5-97-1 a month later.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Donte Moncrief, IND @TEN 003400000 ***
He played once once vs. Tennessee year (in Indy) and scored once on his four catches. The loss of Andrew Luck has decimated Moncrief's fantasy worth. The matchup is welcoming for brave owners or those in DFS formats. Tennessee rates as the third-worst team in PPR and fourth-easiest to beat up in standard scoring.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jack Doyle, IND @TEN 003200000 ***
Doyle missed last week, so monitor his status to be safe. All told, he isn't worthy of a fantasy start in most situations anyway. The Titans have been abused by wideouts but haven't given up much to tight ends.

Update: Doyle was a full-go Friday and is likely to play Monday night.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Adam Vinatieri, IND @TEN 3311 ***
All nine field goal tries and 13 of 15 XPAs have connected against the Titans in 2017. This averages out to 8.0 fantasy points against and is the 12th-best matchup.

WEEK 17
2012
ARI at SF CLE at PIT JAC at TEN OAK at SD
BAL at CIN DAL at WAS KC at DEN PHI at NYG
CAR at NO GB at MIN MIA at NE STL at SEA
  CHI at DET HOU at IND NYJ at BUF TB at ATL

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